What’s the Best Term to Describe a Company that Does Not Use Online Marketing?

I feel like I’m in the minority when I say this, but I hate online marketing. Hate, hate, hate. Hate the way marketers try to manipulate our emotions with ads, hate the forced decisions we have to make to keep up with the algorithms, and hate the way it’s all so meaningless.

I know, I know. There are plenty of cases where online marketing done right can work. Organic conversions, email marketing, and content marketing just to name a few. But for the most part, online marketing is a dark art that should stay hidden…

The Shameless Promoter

A while back, I worked for a brand that hated online marketing. Hated it so much that they didn’t even use it. Instead, they used something I haven’t seen since the dark ages: a shill.

What is a shill?

A shill is someone who promotes something or someone for monetary gain, but does not genuinely believe in or is not passionate about what they’re promoting. A shill is often hired by a company that doesn’t want to spend money on marketing, so they use a shill to bring in business.

For example, if you’re doing a hair extension comparison shopping and find a product that is significantly cheaper on one of the big online retailers, but the company that makes that product is a fake company with no physical presence, that’s when you know you’ve been had. But at least you got the best deal possible.

Nowadays, with so much information online, people are better equipped to do their own research. Unfortunately, that also means they’re better equipped to spot a shill. So, if you’re a business owner who doesn’t want to spend money on ads, it might be best to stay away from the internet.

The Pyramid Scam

Pyramid schemes are one of the biggest scams in existence. And I’m not just talking about the ponzi schemes that have people losing their life savings. I’m talking about the multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes that can eat up your entire paycheck. Not to mention the sometimes-tricky legalities of getting back what you paid for products you didn’t really want in the first place.

MLMs prey on people’s insecurities. They instill in their members the feeling that if they don’t keep buying from the company, they’re not promoting it sufficiently. So, they bring in more members, give them more expensive bonuses, and do a little dance of deception around the bonjoro.

To make matters worse, MLMs prey on our emotional attachments to products. They know we’ll be more likely to keep buying their products as our own, because they know we’ve grown attached to them over time. So, while we think we’re making the right choice for ourselves, the truth is, we’re actually just feeding the MLM.

If you’re not sure what an MLM is, here’s a quick definition: An MLM (multi-level marketing) is a business model that encourages people to join a group or network of traders, where each member buys a product from another member (the supplier) to then resell that product to a third party (the consumer).

Usually, once you’ve been a member of an MLM for a while and built up a decent amount of equity (i.e., the value you’ve assigned to the product you’re selling), you can qualify for a buy-in of an additional product or service from the company. This is what makes MLMs really profitable, since you’re generating revenue from two different sources – members who join because they believe in the product, and members who join because they believe the company will help them earn extra money.

Like I said, I hate online marketing, but unfortunately, I had to become familiar with the subject matter if I wanted to continue working for this brand. So, I’ve tried to put into words the many flaws I see in online marketing. Hopefully, this will help you identify if an online marketer is manipulating you or your company for financial gain, and help you avoid becoming a victim yourself.